|The Rockets are reportedly looking to bring back Lin. (Getty Images)|
Jeremy Lin is suddenly very popular. The former D-Leaguer and waivee-turned-international-phenomenon is a restricted free agent, and everyone's angling for his services despite having had only really a half-season of production. That's what marketing potential and a lovable personality will do for you.
The Knicks desparately want to keep him, the Raptors are considering an offer, the Mavericks have him on radar, but the New York Post reports the biggest contender to land him may be the Rockets, the team that waived him and allowed New York to grab him. From the Post:
A league source said Lin will be offered a contract today -- maybe in the $30 million range -- in a back-loaded nature similar to the one the Rockets offered Bulls big man Omir Asik.
“Jeremy Lin's an excellent player,'' Rockets general manager Daryl Morey told The Post. “We got to know him firsthand when he was with the Rockets early this season. We think he'd make a fantastic addition to our team.''
Lin will spend today with Morey, aiming to make up for waiving the global phenom before the regular-season opener, allowing Grunwald to pick him up on waivers.
The source said the Rockets will offer Lin $5 million, $5.2 million and then plan to jack up the third and fourth years to as much as $10 million.
That's what's called a "poison pill," folks. By jacking up the back-end of the contract, the Rockets make it a very difficult decision for the Knicks to match any offer for him. To put this in perspective, in three years, when that first hit of $10 million per year would come in? The Knicks have $64 million devoted to four players. That is an absolutely absurd number and fielding a full roster could push them well north of $90 million, approaching the $100 million mark, with or without Lin. So yeah, that poison pill makes an impact.
Morey could be looking to start fresh at the point guard position. Starter Kyle Lowry is unhappy and has requested a trade, publicly. Goran Dragic is likely going to fall out of what the Rockets are willing to pay him. Lin represents a save-of-face move for Morey, getting back the player he let slip away, solves his point guard problem along with bringing tremendous financial rewards from his marketability and Lin's a pretty good player to boot.
The only questions if that offer is made are if anyone gets crazy enough to up it, and how prideful Knicks owner James Dolan is.